THE GREAT PAPER CAPER

“There was a time in the forest / when everything was not as it should have been.” One autumn, the trees begin to vanish. At first the woodland creatures blame one another, but as the seasons change, they launch a full investigation, complete with yellow crime-scene tape. When a moose tips the investigators off, they follow the evidence to the bear’s house. Driven by his family’s legacy of paper-plane champions, the repentant bear explains he chopped the trees to make practice planes. The animal court requires the bear to plant replacement trees, but they also help their new friend by creating a giant paper plane out of his crumpled-up, failed aircrafts. Jeffers’s illustrations are meticulously designed, from the characters’ expressive eyeballs and stick-figure legs to the use of negative space and the way the text interacts with the artwork. Sophisticated readers may giggle over the mystery and mock trial, and adults may admire the undeniably hip artwork, but the story’s message is a bit convoluted, mixing themes of forgiveness, eco-consciousness and teamwork. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-25097-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE

Hilarity and hijinks abound in this tale about a voracious swine with an overweening yen for hot buttered toast. Mercy is the beloved pet pig of the doting Mr. and Mrs. Watson. When Mercy sneaks into her owner’s bed one night, her added heft causes the bed to fall partway through the ceiling. Although the besotted Watsons assume Mercy is trotting off to seek help, the only search and rescue Mercy seems to care about involves butter and hot bread. In her quest for some midnight munchies, Mercy awakens the crotchety neighbor. Wild chases and mayhem ensue before help arrives in the guise of firefighters. DiCamillo aims for over-the-top fun with her tale of porcine shenanigans, and Van Dusen’s gouache illustrations provide a comical counterpart to the text. The glossy paintings, with exaggerated caricatures and lively colors, complement DiCamillo’s tone, although the scowling, lantern-jawed visage of the crabby neighbor borders on the unpleasant. With vocabulary that may prove too challenging for a novice, DiCamillo’s tale is best suited for those ready to move up. However, the pacing and the action easily make it right for shared reading. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-2270-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more